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Hardball With Chris Matthews

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Washington 7, Sharron 5, Us 5, Msnbc 5, Mitch Mcconnell 4, Steve 4, United States 3, Bp 3, Obama 3, Pat Toomey 3, Pennsylvania 3, Virginia 3, U.s. 3, Toomey 3, Joe Biden 2, Chris Van Hollen 2, Pam 2, Growther 2, Atrial Fibrillation 2, Eric Cantor 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2010)  (CC)  

    September 3, 2010
    7:00 - 7:59pm EDT  

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to be performing in seattle at the theater off jackson, correct? >> you got it. >> you're the best. thanks so much. tonight in our your text survey, we asked you, what do you think the republican politicians care more about? your jobs or their jobs? 17% of you said your jobs. 83% of you said their jobs i guess. that's "the ed show." have a great labor day weekend. we're back with you next tuesday in new york. check out the release. the march is on. october 2nd. we will get hundreds of thousands i guarantee it. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now on the place for politics, msnbc. return fire. let's play hardball. good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. >> leading off tonight,
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democrats starting to play "hardball." to avoid disaster in november, democrats are going to have to get tough, they're going to have to punch back, they're going to have to nail the opponents, the republicans and the tea part easier have been using against them. that means going negative. it means brutally honest, devastatingly negative ads. as one strategist put it, anyone who spends money on a positive ad may as well get give money to charity. the democrats are finally getting tough. and that's our top story tonight. plus, what scares you? what's to fear if the republicans grab control of the congress? a push to starve the health care bill? another government shutdown in order to shift spending power to the congress? a relentless campaign to take down president obama. listen tonight to what the republicans themselves are offering up. >> also, we got a glimmer of good economic news this morning. the jobless rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 9.6%. 9.6. and 54,000 jobs were lost overall because of the temporary census bureau jobs coming to an end. but the private sector added 67,000 new jobs, higher than
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expected. that offers hope that things are getting better in the real economic world out there. still some democrats are quite worried about ending bush tax cuts for even the top brackets. we'll look into that retreat. not all of the democrats certainly but some of them are starting to get very wary at spending between now and election day bringing them back to the higher rates for the richest americans. if there were already enough reasons to be angry with bp, and there are a lot, now the oil giant is saying to congress, bp may not be able to pay what it's promised to pay in damages to those people who got hurt down there. big surprise? not really. let me finish by telling you the pair of people i think president obama needs to put in his administration at the highest level to turn things around and make things work. let's start with the democrats playing "hardball." larry sabato is a professor at the center for politics at the fabulous university of virginia. and susan paige is the
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waugs bureau chief for "usa today." it's not fabulous just because of you, larry, but it is one hell of a school. here are larry's numbers. they were out the other day. i want to start with your thoughts and predictions. currently 47 house seats go republican, enough of a shift to get power to the republicans. eight or nine pickups of the senate seat the ten they need to make it. a net gain of eight governors going to the republican side. a very big win for the republican party. not a complete shutout yet, apparently. and a new "usa today" galup poll says voters prefer a republican candidate across the country by 49% to 43%, which should be enough of a percentage, six-point difference to give them control as well. let me start with larry sabato. just to let you capsulize your current prediction, what is it? >> it is exactly what you suggested. republicans taking over the
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house, not by an enormous margin but by a decent margin. having a chance to take over the senate but it's not there yet and may never be. their biggest advantage and probably greatest break through will be at the state level where they'll not only pick up at least eight governorships out of the 37 on the ballot net, they'll also probably pick up 300 to 500 legislative seats. that means they'll take control of an additional eight to 12 legislative chambers all critical for the 20 12r redistricting process. >> susan, in your reporting, do you find those predictions correct? >> he's a little further in front i think on the house side. but everybody's moving in that direction. all the highly respected independent prognosticators say the house is gone. the senate, not quite yet, but not far. >> let's go to the fight right now. this is what's going on.
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here are the toughest ads out there. they're all over the place. they're all getting tough. this is the democrats going after republicans. let's take a look at this. here's robin carnahan out there in missouri. her ad hitting roy blunt, a long-time republican leader in congress. here's a case where a democrat gets to run against a washington insider big shot. one of those rare moments where the democrat gets to be the outsider in a race. let's listen to what she's saying. >> congressman roy blunt. he got caught trying to insert a secret deal for tobacco giant phillip morris into a bill days after company executives gave him over $30,000. he voted to weaken the rules on lobbyist gifts. rode corporate jets provided by a defense contractor convicted of bribery and he's taken more money from lobbyists than any member of congress. roy blunt, he's the very worst of washington. >> get the picture? let's go to joe sestak. he was on last night. the democratic pennsylvania congressman. here he is going after pat
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toomey his club for growth conservative opponent up in pennsylvania. let's listen. >> do you think corporations pay their fair share? pat toomey thinks they shouldn't pay any taxes. let's not tax corporations. i think the solution is to eliminate corporate taxes all together. the middle class is struggling, but toomey thinks it's oil companies and wall street banks who should pay no taxes, zero. the solution is to eliminate corporate taxes all together. >> pat toomey, he's for them, not for us. i think that's a pretty straight ad, larry. they're using the opponent's words. he's a real club for growther. i think it's fair to say to the pennsylvania voters, do you really want somebody this far over as your senator? >> i have no problem with that at all. that's factual. i have no problem with any negative ad or contrast ad that is factual, that uses the words, not taken out of context, of the opponent. chris, here is what democrats have to do.
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they're faced with a situation where they can't go to the voters and say, hey, everything is hunky-dory. isn't it terrific? happy days are here again. reelect me. instead, they have to go to the votersen say, i know you're unhappy. i know you're frustrated. i know you want change. but look at this other candidate. you don't want that change. you dirty up your opponent. that's what the candidates are doing. that's what they have to do. >> if you do this, is there a risk, i'm worried for the democrats here. worrying for them because i've seen this happen before. if you say to somebody who is unhappy with the way things are before, yeah, but this person is worse, you're saying you don't have a choice. they might get ticked at you. >> the problem with doing negative ads like this if you're a democrat is not that the voters are in love with the republican party. >> your polling is showing that. >> our polling is showing it more so than in big change elections, people are just against the party in power. they're not enamored with the other side.
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that means you're not telling them something they don't know when you criticize republicans. >> just reminded them you don't like either side. maybe you're more afraid than angry. >> you may drive down some people from voting. we know people who are really energizes this year are the people ho are on the right, who are the tea party types. we know they're going to turn out. >> it seems like in all the ads, he's saying don't blame the government, blame wall street. blame these rich guys. these fa nat cal, what do you call them, ideologues. here's a good set of ads. they're all nailing republican challenger sharron angle, who is pretty far out there in nevada. richard burr in north carolina, and meg whitman in north -- out in california let's listen to this barrage of ads against the r's. let's listen. >> sharron angle opposes extending unemployment benefits. >> no, i wouldn't have voted for unemployment extensions. >> she says laid off workers are spoiled. >> we really have spoiled our citizenry. they want to be dependent on the government. >> i'm not spoiled. i don't want to be dependent on anybody. >> we pulled one out of the water this morning.
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completely covered in oil. >> oh, he's covered. name senator richard burr. >> senator burr's record is a little oily. big oil has showered him with hundreds of thousands in campaign cash. >> for billionaire ceos like meg whitman, money makes life's little problems disappear. she was sued for age discrimination and paid big bucks to settle the case. >> wow. where do i begin there? i like the angle ad because i really doll think she's a far out fringy and i don't think it's hard to find words which will hurt her. it seems like that's an honest ad. the others deal with satire and lampoonery. i'm not sure they work, as well. your thoughts? >> i agree with you entirely. that angle ad did work because it's her own words, it's her own positions. chris, you know this because you talk to some of the same people. senior republican leaders would love to make one particular contribution to sharron angle.
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they want to buy her a one-way ticket to bermuda, coming back november 3rd, the day after the election. the less she says, the less she's seen, the better chance she has of winning because of the republican wave. >> what are they going to do if they find her in the united states senate sitting there talking and really believing she's a grown-up u.s. senator with a right to speak? are they going to gag her? >> mitch mcconnell could end up with a caucus very difficult to manage with sharron angle and mike castle. >> this is going to be the bar in star wars". this is going to be a strange motley crew of people there, my god. >> it is the one hope of democrats in some races like senator reid's race in nevada that these candidates that have been nominated in the republican primaries are vulnerable. >> he figured that one out himself, didn't he? didn't he jigger it so that sue lowden wouldn't run against him, former anchorwoman? >> is it enough? do you think? >> well, i don't know. i think he has a tough
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re-election. i'm looking at these numbers. i don't see a lot of movement, larry. we all look at the numbers. when i see him tagging sharron angle as a whack job again and again, she may well be a wac job, but i wonder what voters get. remember the guy with the tam o shan'ter. they knew the guy was a little off. i saw the 19% of this country that voted for ross perot after he was certified as nuts, the 19%. they wanted to stick it to the incumbent. right? sometimes people vote out of anger. that's what i'm thinking. the democrats have got to be careful of the crazy voter, it seems. your thought? i'm sorry. >> chris, i'll make a long distance prediction for you. the long distance prediction for you is this is another class of '80 in the u.s. senate. in other words, a lot of one-termers. enjoy the six years. they get some pension out of it. they're going to say a lot of very interesting things on the floor of the senate. if they're friends of mitch mcconnell out there, get him a
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christmas case early, a case of extra strength excedrin. that's what he needs. >> when they pick up that rock, they're going to see a lot of bug life under there. the american voter. thank you, susan. you have a good heart. everybody have a nice labor day weekend. i hope that doesn't sound partisan. do republicans celebrate labor day? i guess they do in a perverse way. what will happen if republicans lose control of congress in two months? could it lead to a government shutdown? by the way, think i people have to really think through, if the democrats lots congress, the house really becomes republican and the governor of the united states, the taxing authority, the regulatory authority, the subpoena power, everything is in the hands of the republican government. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. that used to make me s. my eyes water. but now zyrtec®, the fastest 24-hour allergy relief, comes in a liquid gel. zyrtec® liquid gels work fast, so i can love the air®. a wheat thin to pick his air guitar. good morning, dan. hello. do you recall tweeting,
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shows them tied at 34%. only 34% each. where are the rest? 10% plan to vote for third-party candidates. 22% are still undecided that race could go either way. you have to wonder why giannoulias hasn't really broken away. we'll be right back. to weigh 'em all. if those boxes are under 70 lbs. you don't have to weigh 'em. with these priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service, if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. no weigh? nope. no way. yeah. no weigh? sure. no way! uh-uh. no way. yes way, no weigh. priority mail flat rate box shipping starts at $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
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>> welcome back to "hardball." >> what can we expect if the republicans take over the house of representatives? they're promising to defund the health care bill the president pass this had year and some republicans are even talking about using a government shutdown to get control of spending. will these put them on the winning side politically? steve is the news editor for salon. and sam is the political writer for the "washington post." when people go to vote, the first instinct of a lot of voters will be damn it, i'm mad. i'm voting no. voting against the democrats and all incumbents. we have to elevate that a little bit. vote the way they want. your thoughts? if the republicans get control of the house of representatives.
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the way i explained it is they get control of spending, trade of policy, taxation, they get subpoena, they get awesome power. they have oversight over the regulatory bodies. they can loosen up on oil and wall street and a few other things. what do you think is the most important thing that the voters should know they're going to do if they're going to vote republican or democrat? >> one is subpoena power. you're going to see a slew of investigations launched. it will slow down the paste of government. you'll go through what was what defined the clinton years, dragging mud on politicians, opening up investigations into the sestak matter, whether there was vote trading there. a lot of drama. the second thing is the power of the purse. one thing that we see now as being pledged by the gop is the way to defund health care is not to repeal the law, but to stop the money going to it. what you may be able to expect is next year they don't pass money to pay for the health care legislation. in which case you have a real
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game of chicken between the president and the republicans in congress. >> eric cantor is a smart guy. he could be majority whip very soon. he's from virginia. he's a smart guy. here he is talking about health care and what he'll do it if their party wins control of congress. let's listen. >> will you pledge, congressman, if you are house majority to leader to see to it that a bill is brought to the floor of the house of representatives to immediately repeal obamacare? will you pledge to do that tonight? >> listen, without measuring any dregs about what position i will be or won't be, if i'm in a position to make that difference, absolutely i will pledge to do that. are you kidding? of course. >> if you're house majority leader, you will push for the bill immediately to repeal this. >> yes, yes, yes. i don't see how you ever thought i wouldn't be for doing that. now come on. >> that's like an east german interrogation. let me go to steve. i thought i was watching the lives of others there for a min as she drills these people.
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she's toughening up eric cantor. my friend laura ingram. but he said what she wanted him to say. we will stop the spending. we will shut down the government for health care. your thoughts on that, steve? >> well, i think you're seeing what could be the difference between 1995, the last time you had republicans running the house abcoming in after the '94 election and running against a democratic white house. what happened that year is they played the game of chicken you're talking about. newt gingrich versus bill clinton. they shut the government down. >> so they closed down the smithsonian for two or three days. the turned the lights out in the capitol. the average person watching right now is we can save a few bucks that way. let's move on to what's really scary. so what, a lot of independent voters say so what. >> what happened in 1995 and what will happen again is they didn't say so what. it seemed radical to people. people are unnerved by anything they perceive as radical. what happened then was newt gingrich basically sold the conservative revolutionaries out and he cut a deal with bill clinton.
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he reluctantly brought along the conservatives. they reopened the government. they lost. what you're seeing in the interview is how different the climate is for republicans now. the tea party movement to me is the conservative republican base calling the bluff of the republicans in washington who for years have talked about lowering the size of government, cutting taxes and all of those things but haven't delivered. they cut the deal that gingrich cut in the end. they've always done that. the fox news crowd, the tea party crowd. they want to see the deal doesn't get cut next year. boy, i think it's a very dangerous position for republicans potentially. >> so they're going to turn them into murkowskis and bob bennetts. and throw them out, if you don't do what the tea partiers want you to do meaning bring bloody hell to the government of the united states, you're out. they want it shut down basically. >> yeah. jim demint said we expect these people who were expected to vote on the reasons they were elected. >> this guy is a real tea partier. joe mauer. very smart guy apparently. let's take a look at him.
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he talks about supporting -- he is saying it right up front. i'm going to support a government shutdown. i believe. let's listen to him. >> out of the gate, what do you start with? health care? >> absolutely. defund it. a repeal would be perfect. but obviously, that would get vetoed. so defund everything. get rid of the social aspects of government. not just in health care, but the other entitlement areas that are driving us into insolvency. >> but you'll have a president that will veto anything if the republican congress tries to enact. >> you got to fund it. >> you have to fund it. the congress needs an affirmative vote to do it. so that's a good start point. >> so starve them of the funds. starve the beast, so to speak. >> absolutely. and have the courage to shut down the government if we have to. >> steve, that is not an unfoe fis indicated voice. that's a person who knows what he's talking about. that sounds like one of the old writers for the national review how, a smart conservative who knows what he wants. he's an ideologue.
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he's out to stop the way things are going. >> let's say the republicans have the senate. the joe millers and the republican side are pushing for this. what's going to happen? you'll have the joe miller part of the caucus, the tea party crowd that wants no compromise, no surrender ever. you'll also have scott brown from massachusetts. mark kirk maybe from illinois. mike castle from delaware. these are the guys that will get pretty nervous, pretty fast when the public turns on them, which i really believe they will. with the tea party not wanting to compromise, what does mick -- mitch mcconnell do in that situation? public relations wise it's a disaster for him. >> i love the image of the french and indian war. my favorite war. one side you have the posh british in the red coats and on the other side the very posh french but they this the iroquois on their side. the rules weren't exactly the marcus of genes bury rules. they had to explain the battles after they occurred. these guys will have to live together. here's the republicans.
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if they win control of the senate. >> here's mitch mcconnell, welcoming marco rubio, sharron angle, rand paul, and joe miller. jim demint. >> jim demint is ascending. >> i think mcconnell holds the power. >> he's as smart as anybody running. >> he made a star wars reference, which was great. >> ludicrous. >> but i did some reporting today. craig shirley, a long-time republican operative, i asked him what will the caucus look like next year. he said the gop will shortly thereafter descend into a brawl. that will resemble the bar scene in "star wars." >> wow, shirley and i think alone. let me go to steve kornacki on salon. it's a progressive journal, i think it's fair to say. people on the progressive side of things have to make a decision. are some of them, because they don't think barack obama is perfect the way they think he ought to be, are they actually
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not going to vote in the face of this onslaught of right wingism that's coming to congress if they don't vote? >> i think this is the best motivator the democrats could have in the fall elections is the prospect. every time you have a sharron angle or rand paul or joe miller talk about defunding the government and shutting it down. we don't need basic social safety net programs the people have relied on in the country for decades. every time they talk that way and see projections the republicans will be controlling the thing, that's the one thing right now that sort of overcomes the disappointment with obama and disappointment with where things stand right now. that's the one thing that overcomes it. >> but there's a big change 20 or 30 years ago when goldwater or reagan would say something. one of their staffers or one of their managers would come up and say cool it. talk about bread and butter. get off the ideology. the tea partiers aren't doing that. toomey is saying what he's saying in flat-out terms. he's a real club for growther. no government. no subsidies. no taxes. i mean, stay out of the way.
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>> this is why i don't think it's wrong to talk about the shutdown. all these people live in the belief they lost power because they abandoned their principles. during the bush years. so the only way to hold power once you regain it is to stick with those principles. gingrich lost a very important pr battle when he complained about getting a seat at the back plane with clinton. >> he looked like a washington egomaniac. >> they think that was a massive turning point. it was that the image of him as a whiner really screwed him over. they will think they could win this thing and also want to stick to principle. >> the right wingers when they come to washington, they're not going to make friends across the aisle. that he not going to come and say oh, i'm joining the team. we all have to work together. il have a hunch people like toomey and the rest of them will stay very much pure by their standards, in other words, fanatical. >> that's the big problem for
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the republicans if they have the majority. it's on them to set the agenda coming out of the house and the senate. it's easy to keep the moderate faction in the republican party like a scott brown, potentially a mark kerr. it's pretty easy to keep them on the same page as sharron angle. you can always find a reason to say no. but when it's up to you to come up with something everybody has to say yes on in your party, that's when the absolutism become aproblem. it's a needle they have to thread. >> the differences in this campaign are becoming crackling well before election night. if we do our job by any time in october, people ought to know exactly what the stakes are with clarity. thanks to you guys for coming here. steve and sam stein. coming up, a dentist from chicago is trying to convince in his way hillary rodham clinton to undercut president obama and run for president this time. really? we'll watch the side show. maybe he's ahead of schedule.
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he's an amateur but maybe there's something there. who knows. coming up on msnbc. [ slap! ] ♪ [ slap! slap! slap! slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum ta tum tum tums
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back to "hardball." time for the side show. could delaware be the new alaska? tea partier kristin o'donnell is hoping to pull off an upset against popular u.s. congressman mike castle in that state's republican senate primary. o'donnell was the senate nominee back in 2008 but lost the race to long-time senator joe biden. didn't she? well, yesterday, conservative radio host dan gaffney who backed o'donnell in '08 called her out on her claim that she had won two of the state's three counties. i love it when they get caught. let's listen. >> when you were speaking at an out of state group recently and you told them that you won two
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out of three counties in delaware, what did you mean? >> i don't think i ever said i won two out of three counties but i -- >> well, let's listen to the audio. hold on one second because i have the audio right here. >> i was the 2008 endorsed candidate against joe biden and i won in two counties. i didn't have the support of our liberal republicans then. >> you said you won in two counties. >> you know what that probably was? you're on the campaign trail a lot. i meant tied. >> she didn't tie. they said in world war ii loose lips sink ships. this candidate's claim of having won two of delaware's three keenz isn't true. voters take note. also, that mr. dan gaffney is not to be trifled with. say it ain't so. hillary clinton has said she's not going to run for president again. a check dentist put an ad on down in new orleans. let's watch.
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it's certainly majestic. one thing that won't hadn't next two years is that, parties that divide, divide and half a party can't win. now for tonight's big number. a pew survey asked americans to name the chief justice of the supreme court. to make things easy, people were given four names to choose from, thurgood marshall and harry reid. john paul stevens and john roberts. how many correctly picked roberts? just 28%. the thing about that number, 28%, if people.simply made a
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random guess among those four possibilities the odds say that 25% would have gotten it right if they didn't know anything. that's how many americans can tell you who heads the supreme court, 28%. wow. awfully depressing not so big number. a growing number of democrats want to extend the bush tax cuts to the rich. the top brackets. will they torpedo the president' plan to end those tax cuts for the wealthy? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. helps keep you in the saddle. in fact, no other ultra absorbs faster. and that's no bull. always. ♪ now the healing power of touch just got more powerful. introducing precise from the makers of tylenol. precise pain relieving heat patch activates sensory receptors. it helps block pain signals for deep penetrating relief you can feel precisely where you need it most.
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i'm melissa rehberger. hurricane earl is still a big storm but rapidly losing its purge. evacuation orders for the outer banks will be lifted at 7:00 a.m. on saturday. it is expected to continue to disrupt holiday travel plans through saturday night. bp is retrieving that failed blowout preventer considered a key piece of northwest spill investigation. a major magnitude 7.4 earthquake is blamed for widespread damage but no serious
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injuries in new zealand. the white house is condemning terror attacks in pakistan. a spokesperson robert gibbs says they're even more reprehensible for being carried out during the holy month of ramadan. wall street reacted with cautious optimism to a report showing fewer than expected job losses in august. there are unconfirmed reports that are lindsay lohan clip aid baby voller when making a turn in west hollywood. back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." september is going to be a big fight over tax cuts. republicans want to keep all of the bush tax cuts. president obama wants to keep the cuts for the middle class and stop the cuts for the wealthy. those above $250,000 a year for a couple. the president's party increasingly appears to be somewhere in the middle.
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here's white house press secretary robert gibbs on thursday asserting the president's position. >> i will reiterate what we have said throughout this debate. that is the president believes that the tax cuts for those in the middle class should be maintained. they should be kept. the money that would be spent to keep those tax breaks for people that make more than $250,000 a year and let's be clear, that the majority of the money that those -- that would be spent next year on maintaining those tax cuts are for that make more than a million dollars a year, okay? that is a statistical fact. >> here's chris van hollen, the man in charge of getting democrats elected to the house. >> the big issue here is on the
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republican demand for permanent tax cuts because they're not saying only, well, let's keep this going for just one more year. that can be part of the discussion. that can be part of the mix. have you said to them let's talk about temporary. >> that can be part of the mix in the very short term. again, i don't think it's the best way to accelerator the economy. there are other ideas out there. that's not what they're saying. they're saying unless we get a permanent tax cut break for the wealthiest, we're not going with a permanent extension of middle class tax cuts. >> wow. something is going on. the ice is cracking here. will the democrats do what the president wants or ready to give republicans some of their demands? with us, two democratic house member who's support the president's position on tax cuts. kentucky's john yarmouth who sits on the ways and means committee.
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i want to start, congresswoman, thank you so much for joining us. we've got a very close personal friend we just lost, smith bagley. let me ask you about this. are any of your colleagues thinking maybe chris van hollen is speaking for them, maybe this debate shouldn't be about the long-term right now during this recession. maybe there might be a delay in raising these tax rates back to where they were rather than in the middle of a recession raising rates for anybody. is there any chance that might be the final outcome here? >> well, i think the outcome at least for me and i think for a number of democrats is we want to make sure that we protect working families, people making under $250,000, extend the tax cuts. for the 2% consuming $830 billion in the tax cuts, let's remove those for those upper income earners. i think this is really simple. there are other ways and tools we can look at stimulating the economy. >> so you're for a permanent return to the higher rates for the wealthy? >> absolutely. people making under $250,000
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actually put their money back into the economy. those who make more than that simply don't. they don't deserve the $830 billion. it's really not paid for at all for all the deficit hawk that would be put back into this economy. no way we should extend tax cuts for the top 2%. let's protect the 98%. >> congressman yar mouth, the buzz in the cloak room, is there some buzz to say the last thing the democrats need going into an election is to tell their contributors a lot of whom do make over $250,000 a year that their taxes are going up thanks to the democrats? >> there's certainly that concern. the cbo says if we let the tax cuts be extended, we'll extend a historic record of deficit and debt in relation to gdp in a 15 years. the issue now, i think if we wanted to, if we really want to prove we're interested in deficit reduction as a party, we need to make sure, as donna
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said that we don't put back this money into the millionaires hands. we've had the greatest increase in disparity of the wealthiest americans and everybody else. >> that's true. that's certainly true. >> yeah. we don't need to exacerbate that. >> here's your democratic colleagues and what they're saying. virginia's jerry connelly said in my view, this is no time to do anything that could be jarring to a fragile economy. bobby bright said i've heard from a vast majority of my constituents, they don't believe in tax increases on anybody else at this point in time. and evan bayh said the economy is very weak right now. raising taxes will lower consumer demand at a time when we want people putting more money in. there you have it. let me ask you this. here's the problem it seems to me. you folks are the pros. i'm watching this.
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you congresswoman edwards first of all. what good will it do you politically if you pass a bill in the house in the next two months before the election, which raises taxes back to the old level for the rich? you go over to the senate. they can't get the 60 votes to do that. they can't get the 60 votes to do that. and you're stuck with your neck out there having been for higher taxes including those for your contributors, the people with the big moin and you can't even make it into law. so you're just out there exposed. republicans come in next year and protect the rich. so all you did was expose yourself politically with no social policy benefits. your thoughts? >> let me tell you, i think those are the political concerns, chris. and i think we have to be on the same page in the senate and the house so we can actually get a bill to the president. you're right. i don't think it makes sense for us to go into this blindly. but the fact is, for 9% of working families making under $250,000, we need to extend those tax cuts and make them
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permanent. there are other things we can do. >> i'm sorry to interrupt. but can you actually get that done before you lose control of congress? before this session ends? can you raise taxes back to the old rates under clinton which weren't that horrible, 39.5%. it didn't break the economy. a huge economy in the 1990s. some people should remember that. we were booming back then with those rates. if you can't get back to those rates and you try, is it like cap and trade? let me go to congressman yarmouth. i'm putting all the heat on you. let me go to have congressman yarmuth. >> i'll give you the answer. you answered the question. >> you want me to throw it back to her. aren't you a nice guy? >> no, no, no. the answer to the political argue is you show whose side you're on. i think you show we're on the side of the vast majority, 9% of the american people whose standard of living hasn't increased over the last decade. my brother in that category. my brother is in the barbecue business. he's done very well.
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he doesn't care about paying that additional 4.5%. he said to me i want to make sure everybody else can afford barbecue. because if they can't afford barbecue, it doesn't matter what my tax rate is. that's where we are. we have to make sure everybody else does well. not the 2% at the top. >> well said. thank you for coming on. thank you donna edwards of maryland and john yarmuth. nice to meet you. thank you so much. up next, oil giant bp. didn't you know this was coming? they're saying they can't continue. they can't keep drilling in the deep water where they got into trouble with the oil spill. they can't pay the money they owe to the people that they screwed. isn't this predictable? so they want to be able to go back and drill deeper again just as dangerously or they're not going to be able to pay who they owe. this is "hardball" on msnbc. yes! ♪
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whether to run for president till after the midterm elections this november. listen to his reasoning as to why he may have an advantage over president obama if he runs against them. in an interview with the hoover institution, he said, quote, as far as southern accents and mississippi this country may be looking for an anti-obama in 2012. don't know. could be. what does he mean by that? we report. you decide. "hardball" whack in a minute.
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>> well, that man has his life back. welcome back to "hardball." sor. >> contrite bp in that tv ad there vowing to make things right. now that bp is no longer on the tv 24/7 and that spewing in the gulf has stopped, the country is singing a different tune. an air times reports bp executives now warn that if congress doesn't pass legislation, it lets them start deep water drilling again, they won't be able to clay the claims. here's what they're saying, if we are unable to keep those fields going, that is going to have a substantial impact on our cash flow and that will affect our ability to fund thinds and pay for the damage. i am not going to make a direct linkage to the $20 billion but our ability to fund these assets and the cash from these funds will be lost.
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he's the former new orleans port authority chairman. we have counted on you as an expert for the human impact down there on the gulf coast. it's nice to have you on, i know you know the news, the suddenly uncontrite between known as bp says if they don't get their licenses back to go back into the deepwater where they got into trouble, then they're going to have trouble paying that money. >> chris, who's surprised? that's the question. who's surprised? that is the darth vader of the oil industry of the gulf coast thachlt are the fourth largest corporation not in the united states, but in the world, only 11% of their gulf oil operations in the gulf. they can pay for this thing out of their lunch money. now this is -- >> this is their ugly stick, if you will, is this their way of saying if you don't let us do what we like to do, you're not getting your money? in other words they're playing
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the stick, not the sugar here, if you will. >> exactly, but this is not volunteerism, chris, they're going to pay, either the congress is going to make them pay or ultimately the courts are going to make them pay. they're waiving the wrong thing here, there's no sugar on this stick, and you're right, chris. >> what do you make of this latest fire, you've been studying that, apparently it's a good result, nobody got killed, they put the fire out et cetera. >> frankly it was a fire, at first i thought i would have to eat crow and rediscuss the issue of the moratorium. it wasn't a big thing, it happens regularly, but the end of the day, the interior department has got to get stricter. you would think that the industry would get together and say, look, let's get together and clean this up because we're only going to have more problems, but they're not. so we have got to rely on big
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government to come in and do big things, it's just that simple. >> what's your hunch as an attorney? do you think people are going to get that money, $20 billion and up, are they going to get it after all this fuzzing arou ifu and pr? >> bp ultimately doesn't want to spend the money, it's going to wind up in the congress, and if the congress doesn't do it, then the lawyers are going to get it. at some point, the litigation has been permanentized in new orleans, there's going to be so much litigation, ultimately they've got to pay, the problem is they're not paying quick enough for the little guy on the street. the oil workers, the poor fishermen who are out of business, i mean this is a calamity of record proportion. >> i still look forward to the mechanic to get down at emerald. >> you deny me that pleasure. >> i'll take you to dinner at
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emera emerald's the greatest place in the world. it's always charming to be with you. >> good to be with you, chris. >> when we return, i'll tell you who the president needs to put in his cabinet. i'm not knocking, proposing. you're watching "hardball." ♪ [ male announcer ] what if clean sheet day became clean sheet week? new ultra downy april fresh
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president obama has many strengths as this country's head of state, he's clear minded, gifted in intellect, artful in presenting his issues. however these past two years have been a shakedown cruise. we have seen the weaknesses. this president needs to put a firm democratic brand on his defense policy. he was smart to keep robert gates at the pentagon, but gates is a holdover from the bush era. there's no real connection between what the country voted for in 2008 and what we're getting in terms of security policy. obama needs to bridge that gap, he needs to pick a democratic ally. with hillary clinton at the pentagon, he would forge connections with the middle east policy.
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a proven track record of supports, it will get a deal cooked over there. now to the tough one, the economy, there is one person in this country's -- historic recovery program that is still needed, his name is michael bloomberg. you can say this is outlandish, that he would never take the job as treasury or white house chief of staff, he makes things a success. and barack obama needs a jim baker, someone to focus the energy of the administration on economic reconstruction period, someone to lay down the same strong chain of command on domestic policy that hillary clinton will define on the national security front. this is the answer, enough of the solo act, president obama needs to build a team, a political and policy power that takes his idealism and makes it deliberate in strength